Special Reports

Detailed Images of Asteroid 25143 Itokawa from Hayabusa

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Science  02 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5778, pp. 1341-1344
DOI: 10.1126/science.1125722

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Rendezvous of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa with the near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa took place during the interval September through November 2005. The onboard camera imaged the solid surface of this tiny asteroid (535 meters by 294 meters by 209 meters) with a spatial resolution of 70 centimeters per pixel, revealing diverse surface morphologies. Unlike previously explored asteroids, the surface of Itokawa reveals both rough and smooth terrains. Craters generally show unclear morphologies. Numerous boulders on Itokawa's surface suggest a rubble-pile structure.

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